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Why your school still needs a prospectus in the digital age


Why your school still needs a prospectus in the digital age

Covid-19 has accelerated the growth of digital marketing, giving some organisations – including many schools – a much-needed prod along the digital path. But print is far from dead, in fact it’s more powerful than ever.
Brands that were ahead of the digital curve pre Covid-19 have been rewarded, whilst for many laggers it’s been the wake-up they’ve needed to propel their brands into the digital future. So it’s easy to see why many marketeers have tunnel vision for an all-digital future at the moment.

But the most enlightened brands understand the combined power of print and digital working together. And for schools, print has an important role to play in your marketing and admissions strategy.

So why is print still so important in the digital age?

Print does more than simply convey information, it engages the reader in an intimate, tangible connection with your brand.

The shape, size, stock and feel all ‘say’ something about your school without you having to actually say it. Quirky, established, academic, trustworthy, sophisticated; you can live your brand through print.

Your website is now your school’s information hub, so your prospectus is free to focus on creatively building the all important emotive connection with your audience.

And the power of print today is arguably greater than it’s ever been. Way back in 2012 the BBC were reporting on digital information overload.

As our online worlds become noisier by the day, print’s ability to cut through increases. Getting noticed requires a multi-channel approach and print is a heavy-hitter when it comes to cut-through capabilities.

There’s feel-good factor about receiving a beautiful piece of print that even the most creative HTML emails can’t create.

There are other good reasons why print should play a key role in your communication mix:

  • Print can create an unforgettable visual impact – photos, infographics, colours, crests – it all ‘pops’ better in print, showing your school off to its fullest.
  • Many of us find it easier to concentrate on printed words, and there is evidence that people retain and use information better when they read print on paper. Two Sides and Toluna, 2015
  • A printed prospectus has longevity and reaches places your website won’t. It sits on the coffee table being repeatedly thumbed through, picked up by friends and family passing through, and shared with grandma.
  • Print has integrity and authority that digital communications don’t. It’s so easy (and cheap) to create online content that it has become ubiquitous to the extreme. But if something’s worth committing to print, then it’s worth reading.
  • Printed communications are a great call-to-action. Give open day visitors a take-home piece, or mail enquirers a prospectus, and it lives on as reminder long after an email would have disappeared.
  • Print allows you to tell your story how you want it to be heard. Websites are great for people to explore on their own terms, but sometimes you need the structure that print brings.

Need some inspiration? Here are a few examples of different ways we have used the power of print for independent schools:

A prospectus that digs deeper

Our recent rebrand work for Farnborough Hill gave us strong foundations to create a prospectus that takes readers under the skin of the school; discovering how their guiding principle ‘Wholeheartedly’ is lived day in, day out. An editorial style, unusual angles on common themes, and photos of the whole community help achieve this. Take a look

Bringing clarity

Abingdon School turned to print to create clarity in their communications, clarity in the school’s structure, and clarity in the school’s ethos and approach; a single document in a myriad of communication tools that truly shows who they are and what they are about. This is achieved using a structured yet playful format which takes the reader on a journey. Take a look

Not a prospectus…

St Alban’s High School for Girls wanted an open day take-home piece for prospective students (10 year old girls). It needed to be memorable, fun and different from the prospectuses they may have collected from other schools which were aimed at their parents. Our brief was specifically to “create ‘not a prospectus’…”. Take a look

A note on environmental impact
As with so many environmental issues, it’s hard to get to the facts, but print doesn’t deserve a lot of the bad press it gets. You can find out more here:

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